Bird flip­ping on Court­house Row?

‘That lady back there gave me the fin­ger pur­posely’

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - By Patty hardee Spe­cial to the Rappahannock News

About 3-hours and 30-min­utes into the most re­cent Rappahannock County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion meet­ing, an ex­traor­di­nary thing hap­pened: Hamp­ton plan­ner Al Henry in­ter­rupted the dis­cus­sion to ac­cuse an at­tendee of giv­ing him the mid­dle fin­ger salute.

“Mr. Chair­man,” com­plained Henry, “for the record, that lady back there gave me the fin­ger pur­posely.”

Speak­ing over him, the lady he was re­fer­ring to — Tracy Ab­dul­lah — was heard to say, “I was scratch­ing my nose.”

And then to chair­man Gary Light, she added: “You need to con­trol Mr. Henry’s ac­tions.”

The episode was ap­par­ently a con­tin­u­a­tion of an ear­lier spat be­tween the two dur­ing the pub­lic com­ment por­tion of the meet­ing when Ab­dul­lah was speak­ing in protest to the pro­posed re­newal of tree ser­vice provider Greg Wil­liams’ spe­cial ex­cep­tion per­mit on Ben Venue Road.

It was un­clear at the meet­ing what started the an­i­mos­ity be­tween Henry and Ab­dul­lah, but hard feel­ings be­tween the two go back a cou­ple of years when Wil­liams and Alan Ab­dul­lah, Tracy’s hus­band, al­legedly got into an ar­gu­ment over a land pur­chase.

In ad­di­tion, Wil­liams owns a 5-acre lot on Route 211 ad­join­ing the Ab­dul­lah fam­ily, which the cou­ple claim Wil­liams has been us­ing as an ex­ten­sion of his com­mer­cial tree ser­vice op­er­a­tion.

Things got dicier six min­utes into Ab­dul­lah’s re­marks be­fore the com­mis­sion, when Henry in­ter­rupted: “Mr. Chair­man, point of or­der. This thing has gone on for ten or 15

min­utes. We’re go­ing to be here all night.”

“I to­tally ex­pected you to say that, Mr. Henry,” replied Ab­dul­lah. “In clos­ing, I will com­plete in say­ing, there has to be enough is enough with the good ol’ boy sys­tem within our county. A long res­i­dence isn’t ok.”

At which point Henry tried in­ter­rupt­ing Ab­dul­lah again, but she wouldn’t hear it.

“One last thing,” she said. “I would like to say that some cit­i­zens in our county like to think they are the cream of the crop when in fact they are thorny weeds in our fields.”

“Mr. Chair­man,” an­nounced Henry, “this is not a char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion here tonight.”

Be­fore leav­ing the podium, Ab­dul­lah con­cluded, “Thank you, Mr. Henry. You may be part of the good ol’ boys as well.”

An unedited video of the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion 7:30 p.m. ses­sion on Wednes­day July 18 can be found on­line at rapp­news.com/video, or on the news­pa­per’s YouTube chan­nel at youtube.com/Rap­pNewsPlus. The meet­ing agenda and re­lated doc­u­ments are on­line at board­docs.com/va/corva/Board.nsf/Pub­lic.

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